Department stores, London
This high class store opened in 1707.
Fortnum and Mason have held a number of Royal Warrants to serve the royal households dating back over nearly 150 years.
I enjoy to have a wander round this beautiful building and look at what is for sale and people watch the purchasers.
What to buy: The food items are popular as gifts; lots of tins and jars of specialities such as biscuits and preserves.
Fashion heaven in London's chicest street, Fenwick of Bond Street is five floors of fashionable clothes and accessories for men and women, plus lingerie and home collections. The Beauty Hall is an oasis of top names, and the third floor houses a personal shopping suite and John Gustafson's beauty studio. Joe's Restaurant is on second floor, while Carluccio's in the basement is the perfect place to relax.
Although I like Harrod's, I loved Liberty. This is a much more upscale. For you Americans, the comparison would be similar to comparing Bloomingdale's to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Not being much of a clothing shopper by nature, I had never heard of Liberty before the mock Tudor facade caught my eye as I wandering around looking for record shops in the Regent Street shopping district. In I went and I was blown away.
What to buy: The accessories for both men and women are great. A men's shirt caught my attention when I realized that it cost 70 pounds. A little over my budget. The perfume and cosmetic departments are suppose to be quite good too.
What to pay: More than I could dream to afford at the time.
Delicacies from around the world
Opening hours Monday-Saturday 9:30-18:00,
Closed Bank Holidays
What to buy: British regional food
specialists and department store.
3 restaurants. Main entrance in Piccadilly
Tea, chocolates and biscuits are very popular
What to pay: More expensive than average
We went into Liberty while we were walking along Regent Street after a long day of sightseeing. I remembered Liberty prints for women's clothing (they now describe these as "blurred and washed out 50s style florals").
We browsed in the furniture (Oriental rugs and lamps) and accessories section (handbags, scarves) and wandered around the store and looked at their fabrics until the store closed at 1900. Bob thought the fabric prices were also exorbitant. I hadn't intended to buy anything anyway and possibly the Harrods prices would have been worse
What to buy: They have yard goods, antique furniture and men's and ladies clothing.
What to pay: It was all above my pocketbook
Noooooo, it's Harrods. This is the place to go when you get that craving for caviar.
Actually, if you're on a budget, I would suggest you leave your wallet & credit cards at home when you come to Harrods. But come here anyway-it's a London must see. I do admit that I did some Christmas buying here, nothing too pricy but, when in London, you gotta get a little something at Harrods!
As you'd expect, Harrod's gets very crowded at Christmas time, especially in prime hours.
What to buy: Krispy Kreme donuts are about all I can afford.
Fortnum & Mason is a posh old department store, in a prime location on Piccadilly.
It's main draw card is it's ground floor food hall, with delicacies from around the world.
It is a great place to buy an edible souvenir to take back home to family and friends. It is a very popular place for christmas and easter gifts, and can get very crowded!
There are 3 floor of general items - clothing, stationary etc etc, but everything sold here is top quality.
Better bring your (husbands!) credit card.
After an exhausting shop, why not pop up to the 4th floor for a traditional afternoon tea (see my must see/food tip for more info).
What to buy: Their chocolates and biscuits are very popular.
What to pay: more expensive than average
Built in 1924, but founded in the 19th century by Arthur Lasenby Liberty, patron of the arts and expert in foreign silks. Two notable set-backs for the firm were cancellations of orders from Archduke Ferdinand when he was assassinated in 1914 and curtains that were no longer needed in the Tsar's St Petersburg palace a few years later.
What to buy: The goods on sale in this distinctive and characterful store are largely based along the same lines as the Oriental, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts furniture, wallpaper, silver, jewellery and fabrics. There are particularly fine furniture and fashion accessory departments and an exotic bazaar in the basement.
If you fancy a shopping under one roof then Brent Cross is the best place to go. You can find most of the branded items here on reasonable price. You could also avoid the horrendous rush of Oxford Street or Nights Bridge.
What to buy: It is good place for family shopping.
What to pay: Everything is reasonable.
Debenhams is one of the best known British department stores. There are even branches in the Middle- and Far East.
Mo-Tu: 9.30Am - 8PM
We: 10AM - 8PM
Th: 9.30AM - 9PM
Fr-Sa: 9.30AM 8PM
Su: Noon - 6PM
This is a great new jumbo complex that threw it's doors open on 30th of October 2008.
Beautiful architecture, marble, granite, glass, chandeliers, wide malls, etc.
I only managed to visit it on 31st of Jan 2009, though it was so worth it :)
Most stores, brands, goods that you are after can be found here. Clothes, shoes, luggage, outdoor gear, home furnishings, furniture, beauty parlours, books, toys, Boots, Waitrose, etc. It is so spacious, with tonnes of eateries, cafes, etc housed within.
To be honest, I have not REALLY shopped since 2001 (my last splurge)! Clearly, it was time to update my wardrobe with some retail therapy.
I visited many stores for the first time ever, though I'd heard of some (NOT ALL) of them. Boy, was I out of touch! BUT NO MORE!!!
What to buy: Check out Hackett for a Mayfair look, or Massimo Dutti for similar chic. There's also Thomas Pink, Tom Wolfe, Ted Baker, House of Fraser, Reiss, Gap, Jaeger, Burberry, GANT, Next, Principles, Camper, Timberland, North Face, Kathmandu, Savage, Pull & Bear, Zara, H&M, M&S, Ugg, ... the list is endless.
Also LV, Armani X, Lacoste, Bench, Bershka, Desigual, All saints, etc.
Loads of kids' stores and maternity stores eg ELC, Mamas & Papas, The Entertainer, Build-A-Bear, Blooming Marvellous, Pumpkin Patch, RED5, GAME, Polarn O. Pyret
Not to mention the many nice restaurants.
What to pay: Anything you want, top watches & jewellery is here too!
Westfield Mall in west London, newly open in November 2008, is Europe's largest in-town shopping mall. The site that it occupies is so large that it is served by 4 tube stations! It is anchored by 4 department stores (M&S, House of Fraser, Next and Debenhams). The majority of retailers are fashion stores, including designer stores which are mostly located in a special wing of the mall called The Village. There is also one large bookstore (Foyles), two banks (NatWest and Halifax), two supermarkets (M&S and Waitrose), and a smattering of electronic shops. Dining options are quite good too, though the restaurants and cafes are very busy at weekends.
What to buy: Clothes, clothes, clothes... mostly. Though you can get most things here.
What to pay: A lot.
London is famous and attractive for shoppers. From the boutiques of Bond Street to the teeming Oxford street fashion stores and vibrant street markets, there is always something to suit even the most discerning of shoppers. Pick up the perfect gift from a luxury department store like Fortnum & Mason and a while away spent an afternoon in the world famous halls of Harrods
What to buy: Department stores - concentrated mainly on Oxford Street
Brand stores/outlets - a large number of these stores are situated in the area around Regent Street.
Designer shops - heavily populated on Old/New Bond Street and Sloane Street.
Independent/smaller fashion shops and boutiques - located on the streets around Covent Garden.
Traditional British/bespoke tailoring - centred around Piccadilly, particularly on Jermyn Street and Savile Row.
Music shops - all of the capital's megastores have a presence in central London, although if you're looking for rare cuts, 12" and vinyl then Soho is probably the best place to head (as here you'll find a number of independent shops covering all music genres)
Bookshops - while large bookstores such as Waterstone's and Borders are well represented all over London, other good bookshops (both large and small) are situated on both the Charing Cross Road and around Covent Garden.
Jewellery - for expensive items head to New Bond Street. However, for the widest possible choice its worth travelling further afield to Hatton Garden (near Farringdon), which has a high concentration of long established jewellers offering a staggering array of pieces.
(Text from the internet)
In 1705 Hugh Mason had a small shop in St James’s Market and a spare room in his house. The Fortnum family had come to London from Oxford as high-class builders in the wake of the Great Fire, helping to establish the St James’s and Mayfair areas as the most fashionable in London. William climbed another rung by taking a post as footman in Queen Anne’s household - and the room at Mr Mason’s.
The Royal Family’s insistence on having new candles every night meant a lot of half-used wax for an enterprising footman to sell on at a profit – so while the Queen’s wages paid the rent, William’s enlightened sideline melted down into enough to start a respectable business.
Fast forward three hundred years later and they are a global company with branches all over the world.
An oddity is Fortnum's bees, who live in beehives on the roof of the store. Several different types of honey can be bought
The Westfield shopping centre in West London opened on 30 October 2008. It is the largest city centre shopping mall in Europe, and has a huge range of shops from department stores and luxury goods to high street names.
Even on opening day, it's easier and much more pleasant to move around than Oxford Street, though obviously lacking the tourist appeal of Harrods and Knightsbridge.
It's easily accessible by tube. The nearest stations are Wood Lane on the Hammersmith and City line and Shepherds Bush on the Central Line.
It's open Monday - Friday 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
Saturdays 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Sundays 12.00 noon to 6.00 p.m.
What to buy: There are two department stores (House of Fraser and Debenhams), and just about every other fashion, beauty and luxury goods shop you can think of, as well as usual high street stores. It's not particularly well-served for books and music though (Foyles, HMV and W H Smith are the only stores).